ore often, we have commencement speeches at great institutions of higher learning. We also have speeches at various levels by various people giving advice to students about how to make it in life. Earlier on, our children have the opportunity to be mentored at home even before someone else can speak to them about life. The question is, what do we normally tell these children? For the most part, we tell them to be disciplined. We tell them to work hard and top the class (not all of them can by the way). We tell them to "follow their bliss", whatever that means. We tell them to be well behaved. Seldom will you hear the world telling these young and promising people a great message about connections.
All of it Minus Connections?
Think about that for a minute. In your opinion, do you think that if your child had all these things in place and was not good at making connections, will that child have success in life? I will be open today and talk about different types of connections, not just relationships with fellow human beings. Success is predominantly an art and science of connections. Where there is no success, there normally is a disconnection. You can take that to the bank. The advice we give to the children about success therefore cannot anymore be lacking in the message of connections. There are three areas of connections that each child ought to learn. I posit that even if they lacked academic prowess, if they are are adept in these three areas, chances are that they will see success in their days.
Connections With The Self
In themselves, children have so many dots to connect. The interesting thing is that they will only connect to the degree that they are taught. That's the most unfortunate thing. I believe the following five things are important connections that every child ought to make.
1. Connection between their Gift and The World's Grief
Every child is a message into the world. They came here to solve a particular problem that only them can. Of course I must be quick to add that they cannot do it alone. Nevertheless, it is important that my child is able to make a connection between their special gift, disposition, talent or passion to the grief of the world. It is my responsibility to help them get that connection. Even if I cannot see it, it is my responsibility to let them know that there is grief in the world and somehow they are here to offer a solution seamlessly with their gift. Imagine what kind of positive pressure and esteem that will build in a child.
2. Connection between their Potential and The Plan To Exploit it
Many people will argue that not everyone is gifted and talented, but very few will argue that all of us have potential. One of the greatest connections that we must enforce with our children is that between what they are capable of and what they are actually doing. All children must be taught to have a plan on how to maximize their potential. This can be as easy as putting a demand on their time. People would think that this way of doing things will deprive a child from playing and having fun. Hardly. Train up a child in the way the should go. Teach them to make that connection and when they grow up, they will not depart from it. You do not want to see your child at 18, full of innate potential telling the world that he/she is "jobless". Make that connection happen!
3. Connection Between Their Philosophy and The Worldviews
This is where curiosity comes in. It is the saddest thing ever to try to mass produce children. Children who cannot think for themselves, who wait to be told what to do, who are not independent in making their own decisions and who do not put responsibility on themselves for how they turn out in life have been dealt a blow in their upbringing. You want to raise your child to such an extent that they craft their own philosophy of life. This means that they can try and test and reason before making conclusion on what to believe on how life operates. Of course this will take some time. You do not want your daughter to be married to a boy who has no healthy philosophy of their own on how they think life works.
4. Connection Between Their Esteem and The World's Standards
Believe me, you do not want your child's self esteem to be dictated by the world. The world's standards on what is trendy keeps shifting every day. It is also very expensive while morally cheap. Kids are killing one another for this. Others are getting pregnant for this. The self esteem of your child is of paramount importance. This is the biggest work that we have to do as parents. To make the child connect their esteem to the world's standards and keep their esteem and judge harshly what the world sets as a standard. Esteem is the most healthy thing that a child must have, for it determines the height that they would go in being successful in life. The hint of course is that this esteem is not obtained from the world, or from anything outside of the child.
5. Connection Between Their Values and The World's Pursuits
You know something, you cannot copy and paste your values to your children. They are unique and so they will come up with their own values depending on their S.H.A.P.E. That is their Spirit, Heart, Attitude, Passion and Experiences. It is my responsibilities to help my child connect their values to the pursuits of the world. In other words, there are some pursuits that the world is imposing on people that are not necessarily important. The child's value is the inner compass that will determine where they would or would not go. Whatever you do, help the child create those connections.